More English Landmarks and Idioms

More English Landmarks and Idioms

Ever wondered why we say certain phrases and where they come from? Joolz Guides goes to the places where these expressions and idioms originated.

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Westminster Abbey – English Landmark

Idioms – Robbing Peter to pay Paul

This means taking from one hand and giving to the other.
Contrary to popular belief Westminster Abbey is actually not an Abbey. It’s the Collegiate church of St peter, spared during the dissolution of the monasteries.
In the 10th century a fisherman had a vision of St Peter here so monks built the church and Edward the Confessor built St Peter’s Abbey.

Under Elizabeth I it was established as a Royal Peculiar responsible to the sovereign, not the Bishop

Son of Henry viii was Edward vi.
Edward continued tradition of giving funds to these new Parish churches stolen from monasteries

St Peter petitioned him too much so he got annoyed and gave their funding to St Paul’s cathedral thus robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Haymarket – English Idioms – Break A Leg!

1766 Haymarket

Samuel Foot was manager of the Theatre Royal which didn’t have licence and sold expensive coffee and gave performances for free which annoyed the crown. The previous owner was punished for writing pamphlets insulting crown.
The duke of york overheard him boasting about horsemanship and challenged him to ride but brought a lame horse which threw him. He ended up breaking his leg and the Duke felt so guilty that he granted him a licence for his theatre.

Lambeth Palace – English Landmark

English Idioms – Nosey Parker

House of Bishop of Canterbury since 12th century
15th Century brick gatehouse (Finest Tudor example in England)
Ann Boleyn interrogated in 1536 and forced to confess to Bishop Cranmer.
Elizabeth i’s Bishop Mathew Parker.
Queen called him nosey because of his big nose and his taking interest in others business.
He was dug up and thrown in a heap in the garden during the commonwealth but then reburied after the restoration.

Imperial War Museum – English Idioms – Bedlam

13th Century Priory of St Mary of Bethlehem established near Bishopsgate to help poor and needy.

Expanded in 14th century and catered for people who were weak of mind.

If not killed for being possessed by devil they were chained to walls, unfed and held under cold water.

After dissolution St Mary was used entirely for those who “Lost their wits and God’s gift of reasoning”

It then moved to where Liverpool Street station is now into a beautiful building but it was disgusting.

Visits every weekend from the public guaranteed to lift and amuse the spirits.

Governors whipped patients up into frenzy before visits as people paid good money to see this spectacle.

After King George went mad people treated them better.

It then moved to Lambeth (currently the Imperial War Museum) and then to Surrey.

St Paul’s Cathedral

Metric System

12th century – Henry I fixed a yard as distance from his nose to his outstretched thumb.

14th Century Market Place outside ST Paul’s Catheral.
Things were sold by the “St Paul’s Foot”
This measurement was based on the foot of St Algar carved on the base of the column.

Romans used Nero’s foot and divided it up into “unicia” from which we get Inch and ounce.
In France a quarter pounder in Macdonalds is therefore called a Royal with cheese because of the metric system.

Photo of Queen’s Guards by David D’Amico
Music by Lil Lost Lou –

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